How to build a strong software engineering culture

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Hiring qualified developers is key for software engineering success.

That being said, your organization won’t fully benefit from your development team’s skill if overall culture doesn’t promote a dedication to excellence.

Having talented employees isn’t enough; the best creative organizations also instill in their teams a drive to constantly develop software that everyone can be proud of.

Luckily, achieving this goal doesn’t need to be difficult. Keep the following tips in mind, and you’ll establish a culture that yields a trifecta of engaged employees, happy customers and a positive industry reputation.

Understand the Importance of Corporate Culture

The belief that corporate culture is important isn’t based on purely anecdotal evidence. According to studies, qualified candidates would be willing to accept lower pay if it meant working in an office where the culture matched their own values and goals. A strong corporate culture helps you attract the best employees and keep them on your team.

The sooner you truly appreciate why this element of your business is so substantial, the sooner you’ll recognize what changes you may need to make to optimize it.

Identify Your Engineering Culture & Embrace It

In software engineering, the methodologies and approaches your teams rely on play a major role in shaping the overall culture. For example, if a company claims to employ Scrum-style management, developers should expect to be left to work independently. If the company doesn’t actually practice Scrum values, which would mean supervisors were constantly interrupting developers, software engineers will notice a disconnect between the stated culture and the actual one.

There are plenty of different methodologies and management styles for software development companies to embrace. Just make sure that the way you do business actually aligns with the styles you claim to focus on.

Establish Clear Guidelines & Goals

Engineering culture often differs from traditional office culture. For example, many experts point out that software engineers tend to follow their own schedules, which can be at odds with those of other employees. Meetings and other interruptions can have a very negative impact on an engineers productivity.

Thus, if you’re not an engineer yourself, you may need to consult with experienced members of your development teams to avoid these interruptions. Use this time to establish guidelines determining how employees communicate with one another, what short-term and long-term goals should be, and the like. Developers need to know there are clear, established processes that exist specifically to let them do their best work.

Identify Weak Areas

Engineer culture should be lively, innovative and optimistic. Honestly assess where your company stands in relation to these standards. You want your teams to work efficiently and to create new and interesting products, but you also want to ensure that your workers feel their overall relationship with management and each other is positive.

Know your weak areas, and you’ll know what changes you should make to improve your organization’s engineering culture. Most importantly, always make sure that each and every team member understands the primary goal: to create high-quality products. Establishing that goal, as well as the office conditions necessary to reach it, will drive your engineers to success.

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